WMATA fires rail operator after mishap

Posted on December 23, 2004

A train operator was fired by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) after an empty Metrorail train he was operating crashed into another train at a station. Twenty passengers suffered minor injuries. The incident occurred Nov. 3 when an empty six-car train that was being taken to the rail yard for preparation for the afternoon rush rolled backward and crashed into a six-car train that was servicing a station. WMATA officials said an internal investigation determined that Lamont Lewis’ actions were the cause of the accident. In a statement, WMATA said “the operator’s gross violation of basic operations procedures during the incident” contributed to the collision. Lewis had been working at WMATA since November 1998 but had only been a train operator for 10 months. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the matter.

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